Will Internet Service In Rural Areas Get Any Better
The pandemic shed a new light on the digital divide, sparking initiatives by the FCC and some of the top ISPs to bring better broadband availability to previously underserved areas, so there is definitely hope.
It’s doubtful that cable or fiber providers will significantly expand into rural areas, but emerging 5G and satellite technologies could help close the digital divide in coming years. While AT& T, T-Mobile and Verizon are actively deploying 5G service across the US, Elon Musk and his satellite service Starlink are ramping up to completely disrupt the satellite internet market. Stay tuned for updates regarding these technologies and others that could have an impact on your home internet service, rural or otherwise.
What Is Fixed Wireless Internet
Fixed wireless internet differs from other connections such as fiber and DSL. Any fixed wireless internet signal is brought to your home by radio waves that are transmitted from a fiber-fed base station. Other technologies use a cable, phone lines or a satellite out in space to get the internet to your home. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should read up on.
When searching for fixed wireless internet providers, the provider of your choosing will place a receiver onto your home. This receiver will communicate with the closest wireless base station.
Our rural internet coverage map will show you the service area and locations we provide internet for. Fixed wireless internet is common in rural areas since DSL is a slower connection.
If you decide to go with DSL, then your provider will be delivering the internet over phone lines. It is slow, but you will have internet. It’s a faster option to go with fixed wireless internet as all tower locations are fed by ultra-fast fiber internet lines.
Recap: How To Get Internet In Rural Areas
- Best rural availability: Viasat. Viasat satellite internet is available in almost every part of the US, and it offers the largest data caps and fastest speeds compared to HughesNet.
- Best value: Rise Broadband. Fixed wireless is a new-ish way to get internet in the country, and Rise Broadband offers well-priced speeds and the option of unlimited data.
- Fastest possible download speeds: Windstream. Windstream is actively expanding its fiber network, meaning its competitively priced 1,000 Mbps plan might be available in your area soon.
- Best mobile internet: T-Mobile Home Internet. T-Mobiles home internet service uses its cellular network. A similar option is available from Verizon, but T-Mobile wont charge you for any equipment.
- Best rural DSL internet: AT& T Internet. Though it doesnt call it DSL, AT& T still offers speeds between 768 Kbps and 100 Mbps in rural areas.
Your options may be limited when shopping for rural internet, but thankfully those options are growing. You might even be able to get internet through a local electric co-op if these more commonly known rural internet providers dont extend their networks to your gravel driveway.
Another option may be a mobile hotspotor if youre trundling across the country in your RV, there are other portable satellite internet options too. And if worse comes to worse, dial-up internet still exists.
If you keep an open mind, theres likely a way to get connected even if youre off the beaten path.
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How Many Satellite Internet Providers Are There
There are currently two major satellite internet providers: HughesNet and Viasat. Although these two companies have split the satellite market for years, many new companies are now entering the scene. These include Telesat, Starlink , LeoSat, Project Kuiper , and OneWeb . For more information, check out our article on the best satellite internet providers.
Our Verdict: Go With Viasat Unless Centurylink Is Available
We recommend Viasat as the best internet option for the most rural residents. Its nationwide availability combined with its above-average speeds make it a great solution for anyone living in a rural community, from the local bar owner to a remote worker trying out cabin life.
That said, satellite internet is inherently expensive and offers less data for the price. So if youre someone who needs data more than speed and doesnt want to fork out more than $50 a month for internet service, go with CenturyLink DSL. Its often the only landline internet option available for rural residentsif its available at all. Your best bet is to check all your internet options where you live first and then make your final decision from there.
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How To Get Cable Internet In A Rural Area
Cable internet access, or cable internet for short, is a type of internet connection, that, instead of using fiber optics, uses cables that are the same as how cable TVs function.
And yes, you can get and apply for cable internet even if you are in a rural area!
Here are some of the options that you can take to secure internet access even if you are residing in a secluded area.
Support State And Local Governments That Want To Step Up
Most states have established a state-level broadband office or task force and many have established dedicated funds to support broadband expansion. While this has created the management challenge of avoiding double dipping into both federal and state funds for the same project, the more resources the better.
Such a lets all pull together to get broadband approach was proven to work in the E-rate reforms that welcomed state-matching funds, above and beyond the basic federal program funds. As a result of that E-rate policy change, 23 states have provided over $200 million in matching funds. This state-federal partnership is a major reason why nearly all schools now have fiber connections.
It also makes sense that, if citizens working through their local government want to improve or extend their broadband service, they too should be eligible for support. Again, the policy issue should be how, not who. Approximately two-dozen states, however, restrict local governments from participating in broadband buildouts. In 2015 the FCC, finding that such laws were largely sponsored and lobbied for by incumbent providers, pre-empted such laws in Tennessee and North Carolina.
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How To Get High
Whether it’s satellite, cellular 4G or 5G, DSL, or bonding, here’s what to do when cable internet providers say no thanks to your hard-earned money.
Some 25 million Americans lack access to broadband.
For reference, thats more than everyone living in Florida, the third most populous state in the U.S. While I am old enough to remember what it was like living in an era without YouTube, I certainly wouldnt want to live in that era today. I mean, not having access to all those car repair and obscure PC troubleshooting videos alone seems almost inhumane.
As the FCCs 2018 broadband report shows, this is not a new problem rural communities have been underserved since the internets invention. And like any long-standing unsolved problem, people have been taking measures into their own hands. People have been creating their own municipal mesh networks, WISPs , and more recently, relying on new technologies like Starlink.
Congress approved President Bidens $65 billion broadband infrastructure plan, but it will take time for that money to turn into actual internet service, assuming its not going to all the wrong places. And if you clicked on this article, chances are good that you need internet right now.
So lets look at the options.
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Can People In Rural Areas Get Assistance On Their Internet Bills
There are several government programs that make internet more affordable and accessible, including for people in rural areas. You can find out more in our in-depth analysis of government assistance programs for internet access.
Additionally, millions of qualified households can save on their monthly internet bills through the FCCs Affordable Connectivity Program . The Affordable Connectivity Program helps low-income families afford an internet connection by subsidizing the cost of their internet bill. The ACP provides $30 per month toward a households internet bill, though households on Tribal land or high-cost areas might be eligible for enhanced support of up to $75 per month.9
To qualify, someone in your household must be enrolled in certain social programs or you can qualify based on your income. This program replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit program that was instituted in 2021 to help those dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Best Ways To Get Wifi Internet In Unserviceable Areas
The infrastructure required to provide internet to remote communities is deemed expensive, with little investment return.
That is why many service providers turn a blind eye to such areas, leaving them underserved. But, all is not lost, considering there are still ways for the rural residents to access the internet just like everyone else. Here is a list of available options on how to get internet where there is no service.
Go For Satellite Internet
Cheaper Satellite internet options have become popular and a common option for getting broadband in rural areas. Satellite internet is the best simply because its accessible anywhere you are as long as there are no obstacles in the southern sky. Another contributing factor to its wide availability is that it doesnt require any hard wiring or complicated infrastructure.
All that is required to get your internet is a dish antenna for signal transmission to the satellite, a modem, and cables.
While satellite internet may not provide the high speeds you will find with cable or fiber-optic, the satellite providers have been working towards improving their technology and services. Nowadays, its easier to get faster speeds and a larger download capacity from the satellite internet.
The improved broadband performance means that users can stream videos, game online, and do various high bandwidth tasks with little to no hitches. Unless the weather is bad , satellite internet connection is mostly consistent.
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Why Arent There More Rural Internet Options
There arent many rural internet options because internet infrastructure is expensive to build in rural areas. The best internet options are usually based on fiber or cable, and it takes a significant investment from internet companies to lay down the necessary infrastructure for these internet types. Usually that investment is worthwhile only if the new infrastructure can reach a lot of people in a small area, which is difficult to achieve in rural areas.
That said, unlimited internet service in rural areas has become a goal for the FCC and many politicians, who have passed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and proposed additional measures to expand rural internet options with unlimited data.
Htc Offers High Speed Internet To Rural Customers
Digital subscriber line Internet service normally works via phone lines and a modem, but in some rural areas, weve laid fiber to allow even more customers to access this service. Starting at $27.95 per month and with multiple speed options available, your whole family can watch, play, surf, and stream to their hearts content.
Starting at $37.95 per month, HTC offers wireless Internet service for use just beyond where ExtremeNet DSL will reach. It works by using a special router to receive mobile 4G signals, allowing your devices to stay connected to the Internet. This service is provided in very specific geographic settings but where available provides excellent service and access. Interested in learning more, let one of our highly trained customer service representatives help. Were just a call away!
For customers where ExtremeNet DSL and Wireless services are not available, Viasat uses a satellite link to transmit internet traffic. We will install a satellite dish and then starting at $69.99 per month, your household will be able to enjoy all the perks of high-speed service.
Be sure to make the most of your Internet. Ask about Advanced WiFi from HTC and ensure superior coverage for every corner of your home or business. Our Advanced WiFi service provides the best possible high-performance connectivity and experience with the fastest technology available.
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Cable Providers Dont Want To Dig Trenches
In most rural areas, traditional wirelines Internet services like Comcast or AT& T arent available. Cable companies only offer services within urban or suburban areas that have a high population density. In order to bring cable Internet service to rural areas, providers would have to dig trenches to bring the wirelines out to the country. Unfortunately, these providers do not think that it is worth it to dig trenches in rural areas, as there are fewer customers per mile than in urban areas.
How To Boost Rural Broadband Speeds
ByPC Pluslast updated 13 July 20
Amazing though it sounds, 4,000 homes in the UK are classed as ‘not spots’, meaning they have no internet access at all. A further 2.5 million are ‘slow spots’ that have connections of 2.5Mbps or less.
Most of these homes are away from the cities, in rural communities where large ISPs argue it just isn’t economical to install the cabling and phone exchanges necessary to provide an internet connection.
Even if you live in a rural area with the basic infrastructure needed for broadband deals in most places, with problems like signal degradation as you move further from the exchange and reliance on poor quality copper wiring to carry the signal, it’s unlikely that you’ll be enjoying the high-speed internet so many people take for granted.
The government has recognised this problem, and confirmed in August that it is providing £530million towards funding the rollout of superfast broadband across the UK. A further £300million will be available in 2017 as part of the TV licence fee settlement. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
But three years is still a long time to wait for these rural communities to be able to enjoy the same internet experience as the rest of the UK, and even with this funding, the coverage will not be complete. If you read the fine print, although millions will benefit, there are still many who won’t.
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What Is The Best Internet Service For Rural Areas
The best internet service for rural areas is satellite internet from Viasat or HughesNet, but wed recommend Viasat because it offers faster speeds and more data. Other good rural internet options include 4G LTE home internet, DSL, and fixed wireless. Although satellite internet is often the best option, we recommend checking all your options first before signing up just in case a landline provider like CenturyLink or Xfinity happens to be available in your area.